Life without clutter, birthday treats at the ready. A visit to Courtenay Pl


Life without clutter, birthday treats at the ready. A visit to Courtenay Pl

Courtenay Medical nurse administrator Marika Williams, practice nurse Jill Sprott, business services manager Jayne Keogh, nurse team leader Susan Flynn-Couper, and GPs Debbie Taylor and Vanessa Souter*
Health Care Home Second Year: Achievements and Reflections
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This month’s 21st anniversary for Courtenay Medical celebrated the practice’s evolving style among Wellington city’s apartment dwellers, pub crawlers, migrant workers, business people and travellers.

Not your average Kiwi practice, the Courtenay Pl general practice – founded 21 years ago by GP Dave Pickett is finding its challenges less onerous now it’s well under way towards becoming a health care home.

The changes have made for warmer relationships. Celebrations are held at the drop of a hat – well, for every personal milestone, whether it’s passing an exam or buying a house, says business services manager Jayne Keogh.

So it’s a nice place to come to work, where you can have a smile, Ms Keogh says.

Spacious entry to the fifth-floor reception of Courtenay Medical in central Wellington
Huddle up, team

The morning “huddle” that is a feature of health care homes serves a clinical, planning purpose but also helps people bond.

GP Vanessa Souter says team members meeting for the huddle identify issues that in-coming patients will bring, and make sure everyone knows who’s on deck on the day.

GP Debbie Taylor says patients like GPs to triage their calls by phone – another characteristic of the health care home – and says “they’re reassured by the opportunity to have a chat”.

All five GPs rotate through a triage system on week days, calling back three patients in a 15-minute period before getting on with their day.

The team had adopted many business principles of health care homes before it joined the Ora Compass Health-led programme in April.

Founding GP Dave Pickett says effort has gone into process mapping and understanding how your work affects your colleagues
A patchwork of sticky notes

The team’s first big lean process meeting produced a patchwork of colourful sticky notes, each representing a problem (they have since all been ticked off). This led ultimately to today’s many tidily filled-out whiteboards showing workflow, planning and results.

As Dr Pickett told health care home evaluators, process-mapping workshops allow practices to understand and see waste, whether rework, duplication, double-handling, lack of standards, or flawed standards.

The biggest value, he says, is understanding the impact of your work on your teammates.

Capital & Coast DHB and Tū Ora Compass Health guests helped Courtenay Medical celebrate its 21st and health care home launch. At centre right are Melissa Simpson, the Compass programme lead, health care homes, and GP Dave Pickett
Relief from clutter

Decluttering and reorganising began three years ago with a shift into a newly refurbished commercial block opposite Reading Cinema.

Now there are standardised consultation rooms, storage systems and processes – for example, how to register a new patient and work them up with a free nurse consultation ahead of a GP visit.

Dr Souter says reception team members flag the patient record so she can see what is needed at a particular consultation.

It’s everyone’s job to encourage patients onto the ManageMyHealth patient portal, where the target is 45 per cent of the total roll of 5200 patients activated by year’s end. The rate was 43 per cent as of last week.

Now nurse administrator-creative director, Marika Williams was Courtenay Medical’s first nurse-receptionist 21 years ago
PHO providing inspiration

Ms Keogh says Dr Pickett and nurse administrator Marika Williams have been champions of the health care home project. The help of Jo Hensen, the PHO’s change facilitator, has been “inspirational”.

Ms Williams, the practice’s first nurse-receptionist 21 years ago, has been the details person for lean room layouts, stock planning, labelling and recycling, but is also “creative director”, says Ms Keogh.

Earlier this month, the practice shared its achievements with guests from the PHO and Capital & Coast DHB.

Ms Keogh says the practice’s mix of communities and the transience of many people’s lives make the centre very different from its suburban counterparts. Mental health and sexual health are significant parts of the clinical services provided.

*Absent from the team photo were GPs Dave Pickett, Justine Lancaster and Rebecca Rowe, nurses Shannen Whale and Alana Hughes, receptionists Dell Riley, Jenny Devine, Rosemary Fowler and Sue Symes, and reception team leader Karen Brown

Receptionist Dell Riley really, truly does have a welcoming smile
Courtenay Medical has capacity for minor surgeries